OpenTable and Hackney hotspot, Jim’s Cafe, create free pop-up to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of rationing in the UK
• The ‘Home Front Café’ will feature a three-course dinner designed by ‘One Pound Meals’ chef Miguel Barclay, and brought to life by the team at Jim’s Cafe
• All donations made on the night will go to The Royal British LegionThe ‘Home Front Café’ is a one-night event taking place at Hackney hotspot Jim’s Café on Monday 3rd February where members of the public will be able to experience the three-course meal for free designed by Miguel based on the weekly allowance Britons would receive. Rather than paying for the retro meal, guests are invited to make a donation to The Royal British Legion. Diners can book their spot here.
This month,OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, and Jim’s Café in Hackney will pay homage to the 80th anniversary of the start of rationing in the UK. Opening theHome Front Café on Monday 3rd February, the one-night event will feature a menu designed by ‘One Pound Meals’ chef Miguel Barclay and brought to life for diners by the team at Jim’s Cafe.
Wartime rationing started in January 1940, with cooking staples such as sugar, eggs, butter, milk and meat in limited supply, meaning Brits had to improvise with whatever was available. The ‘Dig For Victory’ campaign had men and women across the UK growing their own vegetables to produce their own source of food. To develop this ‘back to basics’ menu, OpenTable and Jim’s Cafe challenged inventive chef Miguel Barclay to design a ‘rationed’ menu for the 21st century.
Best known for his £1 meals using minimal ingredients, from meat-free to quick and easy recipes, Miguel has designed the dishes from simple rationed ingredients based on the weekly allowances Britons would receive. Guests attending will get the chance to tuck into a classic bubble and squeak with hollandaise sauce to start, followed by a hearty leek and bacon quiche, with a juicy poached pear to finish. Vegan and gluten free options will also be available.
In the 80 years since rationing began, the UK’s culinary scene has developed in leaps and bounds, with food trends and dining habits changing from generation to generation. However, today’s modern trends from sugar and dairy free diets to organic produce, and vegetarian to plant-based alternatives were the norm in the 1940s as Brits became creative trailblazers in the kitchen due to shortages.
Miguel Barclay, chef and author, comments: “Creating these dishes for OpenTable and Jim’s Cafe has been a great chance to further showcase how you can make flavoursome meals with very little. I really enjoyed finding inspiration from the 1940s and putting a modern twist on them. As we have access to so much choice when it comes to cooking, it was great to strip it back and go back to basics.”
The retro three-course meal will be free for guests to book and enjoy via OpenTable, with customers having the opportunity to donate to The Royal British Legion on the night.
To book your space at the Home Front Café on Monday 3rd February, or for more information, visit here.
To try out the dishes yourself, please see the recipes below:
Bubble and Squeak with Asparagus Spears and Hollandaise Sauce
· 1 potato
· Wedge of Savoy cabbage
· A few asparagus spears
· Salt & pepper
Ingredients (for Hollandaise sauce):
Makes 6 portions
· 50g butter
· 10g of powdered egg
· 50g milk
Dice the potatoes into 1cm pieces and roast in the oven with olive oil salt and pepper for approximately 15 minutes, until soft and cooked.
Meanwhile shred the savoy cabbage then pan fry in a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper for a couple of minutes until soft. Mix the cooked potatoes and cabbage in a bowl and slightly crush the potatoes with the back of a fork.
For the hollandaise, melt the butter in a bain marie, then add 10g of powdered egg and whisk, slowly adding the cream. Continue to whisk until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for a few minutes until cooked. Assemble the bubble and squeak on a plate using a ring to create a neat circle and lay a few spears of asparagus on top, finish with the hollandaise sauce.
Bacon and Leek Quiche
· 100g flour
· 50g margarine
· Splash of water
· 40g bacon
· 70g sliced leeks
· 100ml single cream
· 1 egg
· 50g grated cheddar
· 1 carrot
· Small handful of watercress
To make a small quiche mix flour and butter by rubbing them between your fingers in a bowl until it is the consistency of wet sand. Then add a tiny splash of water (approximately 5g to 10g) to create a dough. Roll and line a dish.
Meanwhile fry the bacon in a pan for a few minutes before adding thinly sliced leek and frying for a few more minutes until soft.
In a separate bowl, combine the cream, egg and grated cheddar with the cooked bacon & leek mix. Season with salt and pepper and mix together, then pour into the pastry and bake for about 20 minutes.
Cut the carrot into quarters length ways (to create 4 long slices) and roast in olive oil salt & pepper for about 15mins until cooked but still firm.
Serve a slice of quiche or a mini quiche with roasted carrots on a bed of watercress on the side of the plate.